We checked out of French Polynesia at the Gendarme's office in Bora Bora yesterday (more on this after we leave). That gives us 24 hours to high-tail out of here – or maybe just a little bit more. We plan to head off on Sunday morning assuming good weather. Above is a typical Bora Bora scene with high-end, over-the-water hotel rooms and the iconic Hiro’s Bell in the background. Our 4 months in FP has been really good. What a friendly, easy place to cruise. Great snorkeling in the Tuamotus, stunning scenery in the Marquesas with a genuine Marquesian culture to go with it, and easy jumping around, great heiva celebrations and some decent snorkeling in the Societies. Each group is unique, except for the universal Polynesian warmth.
Above is an old map of the South Pacific (click on it to biggerate it and see the text I added). We are in Bora Bora now with plans to head northwest toward a small atoll in the middle of the Cook Islands (which is actually a country) named Suwarrow (or sometimes Suvarrow). Then we hope to head southwest to another tiny country/large-rock, Niue. On the old maps Niue is called the Savage or Danger Island, as the natives were thought to be particularly unwelcoming to foreign ships and sailors. After that we’re off to the Kingdom of Tonga, once known as the Friendly Islands based on Cook’s 1773 reception there. It’s a nation with hundreds of islands and many good anchorages to explore.
Mauru’uru, French Polynesia, thank you for everything!
Paul and Chris